Kerala HC declines to stay judge's order asking Centre to allow second Covishield dose after 4 weeks
The single judge had issued the order while allowing the petition filed by Kitex Garments Limited seeking permission to vaccinate more than 10000 workers before the prescribed 84-day gap
KOCHI: A division bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday declined to pass an interim order staying the single judge's order directing the central government to allow scheduling, on the Cowin portal, of the second Covishield dose four weeks after the first for those who want to take it earlier than the present prescribed gap of 84 days. The Bench posted the case for further hearing on Thursday.
The court issued the order on the appeal filed by the central government seeking to quash the single judge's order. The counsel for the central government argued that the judgment of the single judge if not set aside would result in disorder in the implementation of the strategy of the Union government to fight COVID-19. The single judge had issued the order while allowing the petition filed by Kitex Garments Limited, Kizhakambalam, Kochi seeking permission to vaccinate more than 10000 workers before the prescribed 84-day gap.
In the appeal, the central government submitted that the minimum duration of 12 weeks was stipulated based on scientific evidence, which constituted the basis of the National Covis Vaccination policy. The single judge had allowed the petition on the premise that the government had earlier relaxed the vaccination interval in respect of certain classes of persons, who have to go abroad.
According to the central government, any change in the policy can only be carried out based on the necessary approvals and clinical trials. The judgment of the single judge will derail the vaccination policy throughout the country.
When the case came up for hearing, the central government argued that the employees of Kitex might have completed 84 days by now, therefore the judgment need not be sustained and sought an interim order of stay. Opposing the plea, advocate Blaze K Jose, counsel for Kitex submitted that the central government has not so far complied with the judgment of the single judge and cannot take the benefit of expiry of time. Moreover, the second dose of vaccination of the employees is not complete as well. Then the court directed Kitex to furnish the details of vaccination of the employees.